Friday I started back to work. So far, things are going pretty well. Then again, today is only day #3.
I brought Trystan into daycare in the middle of last week for a sort of “show and tell” to train the daycare workers on how to care for his ostomy. I also wrote up a multi-page, step-by-step guide, complete with photos, should they need to apply a new pouch. I’m glad that none of them are squeamish (how can you be when you deal with poop for a living?), and they all were very optimistic about the whole thing. After Friday, they were even more confident that his care is not really much harder than any other baby. Monday, they got to change the bag (in addition to the normal emptying). Twice. Those things are a little touchy—either they last for days at a time, or they come off within hours. Their second attempt was still on strong this morning, so I think it’s a winner. And now, they’re even more comfortable about his care (as am I).
Work for me has been fine. It only took me about two hours to clean the 1100+ email messages I’d accrued from one account. I had a couple of other computer accounts and pin numbers/passwords that had to be re-set. Everyone was friendly and happy to see me. I found the mother’s room with no problem—I am in a different building than when I was still breastfeeding Charlotte. I also got lucky and ran into one of the other moms on her way into the room, so I got the door code from her. My first set of tasks is to run a series of automated tests against the newest build of our software—tests that I originally wrote. It’s not too bad, and I have breaks of up to 10-30 minutes while waiting for tests to complete (or fail) to finish doing the rest of the back-to-work cleanup, and to pump without feeling like I’m taking too much personal time.
The pumping itself has been going great. I was VERY stressed by the whole thing after Charlotte was born, but this time I have several advantages. First, I have several hundred ounces of milk in our deep freezer from Trystan’s first hospital stay (a typical bottle is around 4oz, so we’re talking about weeks worth of food here). With Charlotte, I was able to just barely keep up with her demand—this time there is no problem if I run a little short. I do, however, have to make sure the old stuff gets cycled out, as it only has a shelf life of several months (6+ in a deep freeze, according to LLL, but we’re already at 3 on most of it). Second, I already have all the equipment I need, and then some: electric double-pump, backup hand pump (one that works really well on clogged ducts—just too slow to do at work), hands free band, extra parts, tons of bottles (not to mention all of the ones already in the freezer), etc. Finally, though my supply has dropped off a bit from my initial post-birth pumping (when I think my body was convinced it was feeding twins), my supply seems ample and is taking less time than before (pump running for 10-15 minutes a time instead of 25+).
I think the hardest part is getting up in the morning and getting out the door. It’s much harder with 2 kids, and when getting up some nights to nurse Trystan. Then again, I always felt hurried to get out the door *before* Trystan was born, so I guess that’s not too bad all in all.